Virtual Organizing: Nonjudgmental Help From a Distance

Photo of Ojo Caliente Springs Do you finally have time to get organized but don’t know where to start? Need guidance but are practicing social distancing? Well, get ready to Zen Your Den® or Zen Your Biz because Virtual Organizing is here!

One afternoon while helping a client organize her closet, I blacked out once and fell off a shelf twice! But once she plugged in her phone and propped it up securely, our virtual organizing session continued without issue. Yes, I work virtually with clients. Together we organize closets, dressers, kitchens, paper and computer filing systems, and more. Even clients who are used to working in-person with me are pleasantly surprised to find virtual sessions to be just as productive. Virtual Organizing is simply professional organizing help through the use of technology.

Why Hire a Professional Organizer?

But first, why hire a professional organizer in the first place? Here is a recap of my earlier post, 12 Signs You Need a Professional Organizer:

  1. You immediately feel stress and unease when you enter your home.
  2. Your bed is piled with things, therefore you sleep elsewhere rather than uncover it.
  3. You are often late for, or forget appointments.
  4. You buy birthday cards labeled “belated,” if you remember to send them at all.
  5. You miss opportunities because you can’t find “that paper,” email, etc.
  6. You frequently extend or miss deadlines.
  7. You don’t socialize much because:
    1. You have too many unfinished projects.
    2. You would be embarrassed to have anyone in your home.
    3. It would take too long to get ready.
    4. All of the above.
  8. You often pay bills late because you lose track of them.
  9. UFOs (Unidentified Food Objects) are in your refrigerator or pantry.
  10. You regularly lose your keys, wallet, kids, money, and sanity.
  11. You have a storage unit for things that are not business-related.
  12. You save things on your computer but can’t find them. Or you print everything because you don’t know how to save them.

How a Professional Organizer Can Help

  • We are objective and disconnected from your “stuff.”
  • We can help you avoid embarrassment or hurt feelings after getting help from well-meaning friends and family.
  • We are experienced in identifying creative solutions.
  • We can be your “body-double” – someone who supports you as you tackle not-so-fun tasks.
  • We keep you on track with your goals.
  • We work with you side-by-side – even if virtually – or solo if needed.
  • We do project planning.
  • We’ve seen it all!

Who Virtual Organizing is For

  • Anyone hesitant, afraid, or embarrassed to let someone into their home.
  • Anyone physically able to do the work or has someone to help with the heavy lifting.
  • Anyone with a basic grasp of technology (phone, tablet).
  • Anyone motivated but wants direction and accountability.
  • Anyone who can’t commit to long sessions.
  • Anyone who needs help with organizing their computer files or technology in general.
  • Anyone who wants help with scheduling and productivity.
  • Anyone out of my service area (greater Jacksonville, Florida area) but who still wants to work with me.
  • Do-it-yourselfers!

How Virtual Organizing Works

Together we assess your goals. Then we meet virtually to transform your home, computer files, schedule, and/or life with my guidance, coaching, and support. Here are the steps:

First, we schedule a free phone consultation to discuss your needs. I’ll ask you questions about your current situation, your goals, and what obstacles have been preventing you from achieving them. I may request a few photos. If we determine we are a good fit for each other, we’ll schedule our first session. This is the process for all my consultations including Productivity and Life Coaching, and in-person organizing services. There will be a few additional questions to determine if Virtual Organizing is a good option for you.

Setting the stage for success

Next, we schedule our first session and discuss logistics. We’ll start with a one, or two-hour session to see how it “feels” and adjust as needed. I’ll provide you with a best practices checklist in advance that includes requests such as good lighting, a charged phone, and a distraction-free block of time. This preparation will set the stage for success! Our first session will include a walkthrough of the technology and tools we’ll use.

Integrated coaching

Since coaching is an integral part of my organizing services, I’ll open and close our sessions with a bit of coaching. This will help clarify your goals for the session and assess how well and if we achieved them. If you decide you would like some accountability for “homework” in-between, we’ll review that as well. Homework is a personal choice, however, and never required or expected. Many of my clients prefer to limit organizing work to our sessions since we make considerable progress together.

Why Virtual Organizing Works

When you are doing the physical work yourself, you can’t help but be focused. And it’s rewarding to know you did it yourself. It’s also “sticky!” Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to rewire itself. When you practice new behaviors, whether driving a new route or folding clothes, your brain forms new pathways. Repeated travel over these new pathways keeps your brain flexible. This develops new habits that stick!

Benefits of Virtual Organizing:

Although I’m not there to lend a hand in person, there are great benefits to working virtually with me. Here are a few:

  • The process is less invasive with more privacy for you.
  • You have more control; I see only what you want me to see (remember 7.b. above?).
  • There are fewer visual distractions since we are working in one place at a time.
  • The physical work stimulates your brain to create sticky habits.
  • It works well for people with ADD since we hyper-focus on one project at a time.
  • You are learning new skills.
  • The time commitment is smaller, and therefore easier to schedule.
  • The financial commitment is smaller (my in-person sessions are half-day or full-day).
  • I provide accountability – if you want it.
  • Coaching is integrated.
  • It’s ideal for digital organizing since we can share screens.
Ready to schedule a conversation about Virtual Organizing?

Call 904-500-7678 (SORT), message me or schedule your free consult. I’d love to help you get some clarity so you can live the life you desire!

Barbara Trapp, CPO®, Certified Professional Organizer® and Life/Productivity Coach
Zen Your Den®  and Zen Your Biz™
Professional Member, NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals)
Life Transitions Specialist, NAPO
Residential Organizing Specialist, NAPO
Workplace Productivity Specialist, NAPO